04/03/12 5:13 PM ET
Heckathorn has rocky outing in loss
By AJ Cassavell / Special to MLB.com
Starlin Castro's mammoth home run in the bottom of the first inning gave the Cubs a lead they would never relinquish and capped a very good spring from the Chicago shortstop. Castro, who batted .311 in the Cactus League, crushed a no-doubter off the top half of the left-field scorebard behind the Bermuda-grass hill.
For the Brewers, who held back most of their regulars for the night game of their split doubleheader against the D-backs, Scooter Gennett had three hits and third baseman Andy Gonzalez went deep for the only run that would come off the Cubs' lefty Travis Wood.
Wrapping up what was a shaky spring, Wood will at least head to Triple-A Iowa with an outing like Tuesday's under his belt. He lasted six innings and surrendered just that one run on six hits, while striking out four.
Wood's counterpart, Double-A Huntsville's Kyle Heckathorn, wasn't as sharp. The Cubs hit him hard for five runs on eight hits in five innings. He allowed two home runs -- the two-run shot to Castro, and a solo homer in the fifth to Alfredo Amezaga.
"It was awesome -- any time you get the privilege to face a big league lineup, you take advantage of it, get some feedback and learn from it," Heckathorn said. "I made a couple mistakes and they made me pay for it, but it's all part of learning and facing a big league lineup."
"I like a lot of what I saw today," Double-A Huntsville manager Darnell Coles said after managing the split-squad tilt. "He made a couple mistakes against big hitters; Starlin hit the ball a long way. When he's down in the strike zone, he mixes pitches well and he mixed in a changeup too, which kind of kept them off-balance. I thought it was a good outing."
In the second inning, the Cubs added to their lead against Heckathorn by stringing together three consecutive hits. Joe Mather doubled home Reed Johnson, who had singled, and then a Darwin Barney single scored Mather.
Amezaga's first homer of the spring solidified the result for the Cubs, who wrapped up the spring with a 17-16-2 record. Sitting at .500 (15-15), the Brewers still have a couple games remaining -- Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon against the D-backs.
Up Next: Milwaukee closes its exhibition schedule with a pair of games in Chase Field against the D-backs on Tuesday at 8:40 p.m. CT and Wednesday at 2:40 p.m. CT. Left-hander Randy Wolf (3-1, 4.78 ERA) takes the hill for Tuesday's nightcap, and righty Shawn Marcum (0-0, 0.00) makes just his second exhibition appearance in Wednesday's finale after battling a stiff shoulder early in spring. Marcum pitched three scoreless innings against the Dodgers on March 25 in his only Cactus League appearance.
AJ Cassavell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.